Political

NORTH CAROLINA SIERRA CLUB PAC 2018 Election Report

The Nov. 6 midterm election was an opportunity for North Carolina to weigh in against President Trump’s rollbacks of environmental protections and embrace of fossil fuels, and show support for clean water for all, science-based environmental enforcement, and a 100 percent clean energy future. It was also an opportunity to stop the anti-environmental, destructive actions of the N.C. General Assembly. The big news in North Carolina was that voters broke the supermajority in the General Assembly!

RESULTS ARE IN!

The N.C. Sierra Club endorsed more than 120 candidates for the general election, and over 70 percent of them won. This is particularly exciting given the larger than usual number of challengers and candidates running for open seats whom we supported, not to mention the difficulties posed by gerrymandered districts.

Winning endorsed candidates included:

  • All four endorsed candidates for statewide judicial offices:
    • Anita Earls for N.C. Supreme Court
    • Toby Hampson, John Arrowood and Allegra Collins for N.C. Court of Appeals
  • Two of the four constitutional amendments that we opposed were defeated; one would have taken away the governor’s power to appoint certain judges and given it to the General Assembly and the other would have changed the State Board of Elections to create deadlock.
  • Three of eight candidates for U.S. House won (incumbents Price, Butterfield and Adams). Three other candidates (McCready, Manning and Coleman) came close but were not able to overcome their gerrymandered districts to win.
  • Seventeen out of 22 endorsed candidates for the N.C. Senate won, including six who defeated anti-environmental incumbents to provide enough votes in the Senate to sustain any gubernatorial veto. The six pickups were Harper Peterson* in Wilmington, Sam Searcy and Wiley Nickel in Wake County, Kirk DeViere* in the Fayetteville area, Michael Garrett* in the Greensboro area, and Natasha Marcus in the Charlotte area. Five of these were races that we targeted.
  • In the state House, 42 of 62 endorsed candidates won, including 10 who defeated anti-environmental incumbents – again providing enough votes to sustain any vetoes from the governor. We targeted nine of the 10 races where bad incumbents were defeated despite heavily gerrymandered districts. These targeted winning candidates were Terence Everitt, Julie von Haefen, and Sydney Batch in the Raleigh area, Ray Russell in the Boone area; Christy Clark*, Brandon Lofton and Rachel Hunt* in the Charlotte area, and Joe Sam Queen in Western N.C. Several other endorsed candidates came close but were unsuccessful.
  • In county races, 15 of 25 endorsed candidates won. In New Hanover County, we now have an environmental majority on the county commission after both of our endorsed candidates won. We maintained an environmental majority on the Buncombe County Commission when our endorsed candidate won an open seat. All endorsed candidates in Wake County won defeating all of the anti-environmental candidates on the ballot. We had several targeted endorsed candidates that lost in close races.

*Race results may change due to recounts.

 HOW WE DID IT

 From Resistance to Results

In the early days of 2017, the Sierra Club welcomed thousands of new members seeking to put their shock and outrage at Trump and his agenda to work. We began preparing for the 2018 campaign far earlier than ever before, recruiting and training Sierra Club volunteers from each of our 12 local Groups across North Carolina to lead our political field work in 2018.

FUNDRAISING! FUNDRAISING! FUNDRAISING!

Volunteer leaders led an enormous effort to raise a total of $143,587 in chapter PAC money, making the N.C. Sierra Club Chapter a leader in the country. N.C. Sierra Club groups held seven PAC fundraisers in Asheville, Cary, Chapel Hill, Morehead City, Winston-Salem and Wilmington, as well as two fundraising hikes in the Piedmont and at the coast. Some groups also held fundraising events in 2017.

Our Biggest Volunteer Effort Ever

Our teams held over a dozen volunteer events for candidates in the two months leading up to election day. N.C. Sierra Club filled staff positions to organize members in advance of the election including a political field director and two field organizers. Sierra Club members participated in canvassing, phone banking, handing out endorsement cards, postcard-writing, recruitment, storytelling and social media, and made use of tools such as the VAN database and Hustle. We recruited hundreds of volunteers from across the state, with the WENOCA group alone recruiting 238 volunteers and filling 540 shifts. These individuals knocked on over 5,000 doors, had over 5,000 phone conversations, texted 9,500 members and supporters, sent out nine endorsement and GOTV emails to 81,420 members and supporters, mailed 90,000 members and supporters across the state, and printed more than 65,000 N.C. Sierra Club endorsement cards to be distributed at the polls.

 Targeting

Our political committee interviewed and endorsed a record number of candidates running for state and local offices. We focused our people and dollars on the closest races in the state. We targeted four statewide judicial races and 32 of the most competitive races. We reviewed fundraising and polling information to narrow the list to the most competitive races. In the end, we placed organizers and our largest financial contributions in the races where we picked up five of the six Senate seats and nine of the 10 House seats that were won.

We made $104,500 in PAC fund contributions directly to endorsed candidates in priority races, many of whom won by less than 5 percent and some by fewer than 100 votes.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
It was a very successful election in NC this year. It was also our largest and most ambitious effort ever. It would not have been possible without our generous donors and many volunteers. We thank you and appreciate all of your support and efforts!

Electing Environmental Champions

We have a unique opportunity this fall to replace the anti-environmental majority in the NC General Assembly with environmental champions and stop the attacks on our NC air and water protections. Your vote can make the difference.

Click Sierra Club Endorsed Candidates for 2018 to find out who the Sierra Club has endorsed.

Know where, when, and how to vote!

Oct. 17 – Nov. 6 – Early Voting – (Voter ID is not required to vote in NC) Nov. 6: General Election Day – (Voter ID is not required to vote in NC)

To find a polling place for Early Voting,

visit www.ncsbe.gov and click on Voter Tools – then select one stop voter site or call 919-733-7173

Not registered to vote? You can register and vote during the early voting period.

 To find your polling place for Election Day:

Visit https://vt.ncsbe.gov/PPLkup/

Or call 919-733-7173